Germany

Capital City:
Berlin

Population:
83 Millions (2019)

Official language:
German

Currency:
EUR = Euro

Best time to visit Germany

May to August for best weather, beer gardens and great hikes; September and October for fewer crowds and awesome colors.

Germany and its regions

States in Northern Germany

  • Schleswig-Holstein
  • Lower Saxony
  • Hamburg 
  • Bremen
Northern Germany

States in Eastern Germany:

  • Berlin
  • Brandenburg
  • Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
  • Saxony
  • Saxony-Anhalt
  • Thuringia
Eastern Germany

States in Southern Germany

  • Bavaria
  • Baden-Württemberg
Southern Germany

States in Western Germany

  • Hesse
  • North Rhine-Westphalia
  • Rhineland-Palatinate
  • Saarland
Western Germany

Highlights in Germany – do not miss them!

Top Cities

Even though Germany is one of the largest countries in Europe by both area and population and home to such incredible diversity, many travelers only manage to visit one or two cities on their travels. Here we have put together a list of the top German cities you should consider adding to your itinerary to encourage you to see more that this country has to offer.

  • Berlin, the capital of Germany. For us also the best live museum city in the world!
  • To experience Northern Germany visit the three Hanseatic cities BremenHamburg and Lübeck.
  • For a good glimpse of Eastern Germany Leipzig and Dresden are the towns to visit.
  • Munich with its unique charming Bavarian and Alpine flair and top quality beer and food.
  • Frankfurt am Main, the economic centre of Germany, which is reflected in its towering skyscrapers – a feature that you will find nowhere in the country.
  • Cologne, with its cathedral, the oldest in the world, will enchant you.
  • Discover Düsseldorf‘s pumping nightlife. The Altstadt (old town) is even nicknamed “the longest bar in the world” because the historic, central district has over 300 bars and nightclubs concentrated in a small area!
Frankfurt, Germany

Beautiful Towns

Germany’s big cities, like Berlin or Munich, may get lots of visitors, but the country is also home to some of Europe’s most charming (small) towns that should really be on your itinerary, including these.

  • Celle boasts one of he largest areas of half-timbered houses in Europe with 400 picturesque structures as well as a magnificent palace.
  • Schwerin, the capital and second-largest city of the northeastern state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. It is globally known for its romantic Schwerin Palace, situated on an island in Lake Schwerin.
  • Weimar – Goethe, Schiller, Nietzsche – a pantheon of German greats in this provencial town.
  • One of the most beautiful towns in Bavaria, Rothenburg ob der Tauber sits along Germany’s legendary Romantic Road. If you are limited on time, this georgeous medieval city should be number one on your must-see list.
  • Often overlooked by travelers but actually one of Germany’s most attractive towns, Bamberg is a medieval and baroque masterwork chock-full of Unesco-listed townhouses that were mercifully spared the destruction of WWII.
  • Heidelberg, Germany’s oldest university town.
  • Trier, the capital of Western Europe – okay, that time was 2000 years ago – and Germany’s oldest city. 9 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Bamberg, Germany
National Parks of Germany

The following are the 16 national parks of Germany:

  • Wadden Sea National Park (Schleswig-Holstein, Lower Saxony, Hamburg)
  • Western Pomerania Lagoon National Park
  • Jasmund National Park
  • Müritz National Park
  • Lower Oder Valley National Park
  • Harz National Park
  • Kellerwald-Edersee National Park
  • Hainich National Park
  • Eifel National Park
  • Hunsrück-Hochwald National Park
  • Saxon Switzerland National Park, with the Bastei Bridge as its major landmark.
  • Bavarian Forest National Park
  • Berchtesgaden National Park
  • Black Forest National Park
Lakes in Germany

Germany has a series of truly stunning lakes showcasing the country’s pristine natural beauty. Wether you are in search of water sports, a health and wellness break, or you want to check out some exciting sightseeing, you will find something to suit in our list of the most beautiful lakes in Germany.

  • Zwischenahner Meer is a lake in Ammerland and is the third largest in Lower Saxony. It is at an elevation of approximately 5 meters, and has a surface area of 5.5 km2. The town of Bad Zwischenahn is located on the southern end of the lake.
  • The Steinhuder Meer (or Lake Steinhude) is a lake in Lower Saxony, located 30 km northwest of Hanover. It is named after the nearby village of Steinhude. It has an area of about 30 km2, making it the largest lake of northwestern Germany – but it is very shallow, with an average depth of only 1.35 metres and a maximum depth of less than 3 metres.
  • Titisee, the largest natural lake in Black Forest and one of the most popular attractions of the region.
  • Fünfseenland, a beautiful area around Starnberger See, Ammersee, Wörthsee, Pilsensee and Weßlinger See in Upper Bavaria.
  • Explore Germany’s most beautiful alpine lake by electric boat: Königssee.
Castles Germany

Middle Age castles and palaces built by the European nobility are among the most important buildings in the German architectural history. It is estimated that there are around 25 thousand castles throughout the whole country. The difference between castles and palaces is that the first were built for defense in a battle while the second were designed more as only a residence for the wealthy noblemen of the time.

We have listed few of the most famous palaces and castles of the country.

  • Schwerin Castle
  • Eltz Castle near the Moselle River
  • Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam
  • Wartburg Castle in Eisenach
  • Lichtenstein Castle
  • Hohenzollern Castle
  • Mespelbrunn Castle
  • Neuschwanstein Castle, Schwangau
  • Herrenchiemsee Castle
  • Burghausen Castle
Parks and Gradens Germany

Spend time in Germany’s most beautiful parks and gardens:

  • Herrenhäuser Gärten, Hanover
  • Sanssouci Park, Potsdam
  • Tiergarten in Berlin
  • Azalea and Rhododendron Park, Kromlau
  • Flower Island, Mainau (Lake Constance)
  • English Garden, Munich
Scenic Drives in Germany

Do you like road trips? Germany is a car lovers’ dream and the perfect place to hop in the car and make the journey your reward.

Germany offers many scenic drives and themed roads that lead you past quaint villages, medieval castles, and unspoiled countryside. Here are the roads best traveled in Germany.

  • The German Wine Route or Wine Road (German: Deutsche Weinstraße) is the oldest of Germany’s tourist wine routes. Located in the Palatinate region of the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, the route was established in 1935.
  • The Schwarzwaldhochstraße or Black Forest High Road is the oldest and one of the best known themed drives in Germany. It is a part of the B 500 federal highway and leads over 60 km from Baden-Baden to Freudenstadt.
  • A drive on the year-round passable Rossfeldpanoramastraße – an unforgettable experience and the easiest way in the heights of the Alps.
Germany
  • Cruise the romantic Rhine River and take millions of picures of the gorgeous sites.
  • Black Forest.
  • Visit the Public Library Stuttgart, one of the world’s most stunning libraries. The main attraction, a five-story reading room shaped like an upside-down pyramid, looks more like an M.C. Escher drawing than a library, until you notice the hundreds of thousands of neatly stacked books, that is. Cozy? Not really. Beautiful? You bet.
  • Donaudurchbruch, Weltenburg and Kehlheim
  • The Holocaust sites, such as Dachau and Buchenwald are to be seen as a respectful memorial for all the victims and  a reminder of human horror.
  • Hike the Alpine meadows. Use the telecabins up the mountains to save time and energy.

Enjoy Authentic German Food and Drinks

  • A full German Frühstück is a must to try in the morning.
  • Coffee and cakes in the afternoon is a wonderful tradition to take time to relax during your day.
  • Try the different recipes of potato salad and sauerkraut.
  • Choose among the hundreds of types of sausages like the “Currywurst”.
  • Find your favorite type of beer and eat a giant “Brezel” with it.
  • Drink purity law beers in a picturesque beer garden or hall in Bavaria.
Currywurst

Delicious Currywurst | Photo: © pixabay/berkemeyer

Catch Germany’s Most Popular Festivals

Festivals in Germany are known to be among the loudest and largest in the world, with millions banding together to celebrate the country’s culture, beer, and food. During annual holidays such as Christmas and New Year’s Eve, the cities come alive with vibrant markets, street parades, and beautiful costumes all day long.

 

  • Karneval in Cologne (February): Dress up in wacky costumes during one of Germany’s most colorful festivals.
  • Berlinale Film Festival in Berlin (Mid-February): Meet your favorite celebrities at this renowned film festival.
  • Rhein in Flammen in Koblenz (May – September): See fireworks displays from a boat on Rhine River.
  • Beethovenfest in Bonn (Late August – Mid-September): Enjoy classical music at Beethoven’s former home.
  • Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg: Catch over 350 live concerts at Hamburg’s largest music festival (September).
  • Wurstmarkt in Bad Dürkheim (September): Enjoy German sausages and wines from the largest wine barrel in the world.
  • Festival-Mediaval in Selb (September): Learn dances from the Middle Age at this folk festival.
  • Oktoberfest in Munich (Late September – Mid-October): Experience the ultimate celebration of Bavarian beer, culture and music.
  • Cannstatter Volksfest near Stuttgart (late September – Mid-October): Enjoy fairground rides and colorful parades at this family-friendly festival.
  • Weihnachtsmärkte all over the country (December): the most famous and popular Christmas Market is in Nuremberg.
Rhein in Flammen

Rhein in Flammen| Photo: © pixabay/Kookay

Germany - Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest in Munich| Photo: © pixabay/Pexels

What is Germany famous for?

  • Cuckoo clocks
  • Autobahn (no speed limits)
  • Premium cars like Porsche, Audi, BMW and Mercedes
  • the remaining pieces of the Berlin Wall
  • Beer
  • Bread and Sausages
  • Football
German Bread and Rolls

German Bread and Rolls| Photo: © pixabay/PublicDomainImages

Practical Advice

Etiquette

Germany is a fairly formal society; the following tips will help you avoid faux pas.  

  • Greetings. Shake hands and say ‘Guten Morgen’ (before noon), ‘Guten Tag’ (between noon and 6pm) or ‘Guten Abend’ (after 6pm). Use the formal ‘Sie’ (you) with strangers and only switch to the informal ‘du’ and first names if invited to do so. With friends and children, use first names and ‘du’.
  • Asking for Help. Germans use the same word, ‘Entschuldigung’, to say ‘excuse me’ (to attract attention) and ‘sorry’ (to apologise).
  • Eating & Drinking. At the table, say ‘Guten Appetit’ before digging in. Germans hold the fork in the left hand and the knife in the right hand. To signal that you have finished eating, lay your knife and fork parallel across your plate. If drinking wine, the proper toast is ‘Zum Wohl’, with beer it’s ‘Prost’.

Tipping

  • Hotels: 1 € per bag is standard. It’s nice to leave a little cash for the room cleaners (1-2 € per day).
  • Restaurants: Bills always include Bedienung (service charge); most people add 5% or 10% unless service was truly abhorrent.
  • Bars: About 5%, rounded to nearest euro. For drinks brought to your table, tip as for restaurants.
  • Taxis: Tip about 10%, rounded to the nearest euro.
  • Toilet attendants: Loose change.

Your expert for Germany

Jens Hämke

Jens Hämke

My name is Jens and i live near Ingolstadt in Bavaria. I studied economics at university and now i do financial works. In my spare time I love to travel and make new friends.

Feel free to ask all your questions in the comment box below.

“ A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.” — Tim Cahill

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More information about Germany

Official Website of Tourism in Germany:
www.germany.travel

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